Multilateral Training Enhances Border Management in Central Asia

People walk along a bridge unveiled at the Tajik-Afghan border in Nizhny Pyandzh, Tajikistan, Aug. 26, 2007. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: April Wells serves as a Staff Assistant in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

At a small compound not far from the airport in Dushanbe, an Afghan, a Tunisian, and a Tajik official sit side-by-side listening to a lecture on weapons smuggling interdiction. As the American instructor’s words are simultaneously translated into Dari, English, and Tajik, the students furiously scribble notes. They will have to present research projects on this material in the near future. They do not want to be caught unprepared.

The students are but three of 41 border management and/or security officials from Central Asia and beyond who have come to the OSCE Border Management Staff Collegein Tajikistan to learn how to fight terrorism, human trafficking, illicit drug trade, and many other threats that governments face as they manage long, porous borders. More Afghans have… more »

Investing in Security: Program Develops New Generation of Humanitarian Demining Leaders

Major General Walter D. Givhan recognizes participants at the 2012 Senior Managers Course in Explosive Remnants of War and Mine Action at the James Madison University, June 2012. This year, the 17 participants represented 13 different countries, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Uganda, and Vietnam. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Major General Walter D. “Waldo” Givhan, United States Air Force, currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Plans, Programs and Operations in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

I recently had the privilege of visiting James Madison University to attend the closing ceremony for the 2012 Senior Managers’ Course in Explosive Remnants of War and Mine Action, where I met a select group of individuals serving on the front lines of humanitarian crises and post-conflict environments around the world.

This year, the 17 participants represented 13 different countries, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Uganda, and Vietnam. These “Senior Managers” are each leaders in their respective national mine action and ERW programs. This diversity the students bring in terms of background and experience is one of the main reasons… more »

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks with Foreign Minister of Tajikistan Hamrokhon Zarifi at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. on May 16, 2012. [Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]

U.S. e-Interns Facilitate Cross-Cultural Understanding in Tajikistan
A group of students in Pineville, West Virginia, chat with high school and university students in Khorugh, Tajikistan, as part of Embassy Dushanbe's innovative webchat series in February 2012.

About the Author: Damian Wampler serves as Information Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

The U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan recently enlisted the assistance of American univeristy and college students to help us build relationships with the people of Tajikistan. Leveraging the State Department’s Virtual Student Foreign Service eInternship Program (VSFS), the embassy worked with VSFS e-interns to organize more than 12 webchats between students and professionals in the United States and Tajik students and civil society representatives at American Corners in Tajikistan.

Tajikistan’s six American Corners are located in some of the most remote places on Earth. One of them can be found in Khorugh, a town nestled in the country’s rocky Pamir region — wedged between impenetrable mountains and… more »

U.S. Assistance Advances Tajik-Afghan Partnership
A tajik farmer takes cabbage to the market, Dushanbe, Tajikistan, June 2010. [State Dept. photo]

About the Author: Robert O. Blake serves as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs.

I recently had the pleasure to meet in Washington with Munir Merali, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Representative for Tajikistan. The AKDN is a global organization doing great work in health and humanitarian assistance in Tajikistan. The AKDN has also taken the initiative to sponsor cross-border energy and education activities with Afghanistan, building an important bridge between these two countries.

Mr. Merali showed me amazing photos from his recent trip to Khorog, where he traveled with the U.S., Afghan, French, and Russian ambassadors for the graduation ceremony of the University of Central Asia. At the ceremony, over 60 Afghan students graduated, the first time in 90 years that Afghans graduated on what is now Tajik soil. Moreover, 14 of the Afghan graduates were women. Mr. Merali also described his efforts to build a regional diagnostic center and… more »